1971 Liz Damon’s Orient Express – 1900 Yesterday
Betty Everett first reached the Hot 100 in early 1964 with her version of You’re No Good. The single peaked at #51 (although it later hit the top of the Hot 100 for Linda Ronstadt).
Her next single, The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) went to #6 on the Hot 100. Later in 1964, a duet with Jerry Butler on Let It Be Me reached #5.
Betty only reached the top forty one more time, but that was in 1969 with a record that stalled at #26. The single became the title song on her album There’ll Come A Time.
John Cameron arranged several hit records for Donovan in the sixties, including Sunshine Superman and Jennifer Juniper. Besides working as Donovan’s music director, he began working on film soundtracks and also tried his hand at being a songwriter.
He wrote the song 1900 Yesterday. The title seems to use 1900 as the military time for 7 pm rather than as a date.
Betty Everett recorded the song on her 1969 album, but it did not get released as a single.
Liz Damon and her sister formed Liz Damon’s Orient Express by adding a third female vocalist and a few backup musicians. The group played as the house band in the Garden Bar at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They recorded an album that included 1900 Yesterday in 1970. White Whale Records picked up the album for distribution and released the song as a single.
The record peaked at only #33 on the Hot 100, but it also reached #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1971.
The single and album from the group were fated to be the last releases by White Whale; the owners intentionally folded the label after the Turtles disbanded (the label’s battles with The Turtles led to the use of the names Flo and Eddie).
The owners of White Whale started a new label, Anthem Records. They moved Liz Damon’s Orient Express to Anthem, where they recorded another album, but the group never had another single reach the Hot 100. Anthem did not do well in spite of releasing a record by Freddie Mercury (that they credited to Larry Lurex) and an album by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks before they joined Fleetwood Mac.
Liz Damon and her group moved to Las Vegas in the seventies and eventually disbanded in the mid-eighties.
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